Editor’s Note: As 2020 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back and exploring how the coronavirus pandemic impacted health care, attitudes, and prescription discounts. This is the first report in a series of articles on year-in-review trends and reflections from RxSaver. If you are a reporter and want more insights, drop us a note. If you are a reporter and want more insights, drop us a note.
2020 was a year of unprecedented loss, instability, and significant change that impacted almost every American. The coronavirus pandemic ushered in the overcrowding of hospital space within U.S. hospitals. over 274,000 deaths in America alone, and the loss of millions of jobs across the country.
How are consumers handling this when it comes to managing health care costs? They’re planning ahead, according to our most recent survey with Kelton Research. It’s no surprise that during a year of constant change and uncertainty, Americans are taking their health and related finances more seriously as the new year approaches.
A Coronavirus Disruption of Medication Coverage And Cost
In RxSaver’s latest survey conducted by Kelton Research, 76% of Americans stated they had some sort of significant life change as a result of the pandemic.1 For those pushed with making changes, especially changes unforeseen, planning ahead for an uncertain future comes to light.
While 1 in 5 Americans experienced changed within their prescription medication coverage this past year, 1 in 10 also admitted they had to pay more for their prescription medications than they had before the COVID-19 pandemic.1 The cause and effect of facing higher medication costs have pushed Americans to start thinking ahead when it comes to their health savings.
Millennials and GenZ Face More Cost Change Than Older Generations
Medication costs have affected the population differently, and even those who live in separate parts of the country. 23% of Millennials and 22% of Gen Xers reported more changes to their prescription medication this year while only 12% of Boomers+ experienced any changes at all.1 Government programs like Medicare and Medicaid account for coverage that 42% of the population relies on1 with the majority made up by Boomers+ enrolled in Medicare.
And where you live in the U.S. will affect how much you spend on your medications. 18% of those living on the West coast reported a plan to spend more on prescriptions in 2021, while only 10% of the Northeast and 11% of the Midwest anticipated a bump in cost.1
Personal Health Hygiene More Critical and Top of Mind
Americans know they can’t rely on things to stay certain for long so planning ahead is more critical than ever this year. Kelton reported that 41% of Americans now place greater emphasis on maintaining their health.1 Unsurprising, general best practices when it comes to cleaning and taking care of one’s own health has grown. Nearly 64% of Americans said they focus more heavily on cleanliness best practices than they had previously, and 16% have been seeing a health care provider more often than before.1
Americans Know How to Save On Their Medications
While many factors have been out of our control this year, it’s evident that Americans are thinking about how their medications will factor into overall health care costs. 82% of Americans plan to spend roughly as much or more on medication in 2021 as they did in 2020.1 This means Americans are already tracking how much their prescriptions cost and what they should anticipate for next year. Only 18% of Americans suspect they will pay less in the new year.1
Since COVID-19 has disrupted most plans this year, Americans know the pandemic will still be a factor even into the first half of 2021. In 2020 1 in 10 Americans lamented having to pay more for prescription medications than they have in the past since the impact of COVID-19 began mid-year.1
However, even though prices are rising with prescription costs, Americans are becoming savvier when it comes to saving. 87% of Americans know they can find significant savings on their medications through deals or discounts like RxSaver coupons to help offset rising prescription prices.1
RxSaver data shows that awareness and usage of prescription coupons is growing, with Americans saving $130M more with RxSaver in 2020 vs. prior year.2 In addition to rising popularity of the RxSaver brand, usage increases are also likely driven by disruptions to insurance in the pandemic, along with insured people seeking a lower out-of-pocket price than their copay by using RxSaver coupons.
Personal Health and Discount Shopping for Rx’s Will Continue to Trend
As talk of the coronavirus vaccine continues to dominate headlines and with a sense of hope that life will see some normalcy in mid-2021, its evident that Americans are ready to approach 2021 with prescription cost awareness, where to save on medications when they can, and most importantly taking care of their personal health to stay healthy.
- Kelton. The RxSaver Q4 2020 Survey was conducted between November 2, 2020 and November 8, 2020 among 1,042 nationally representative Americans.
- RxSaver (2020). [Transaction trends across America]. Unpublished raw data.
Bre D’Alessio South
Bre D’Alessio South is the content marketing manager and managing editor of RxSaver. Her writing focuses on health care, mental health, and gender rights. At RxSaver, she also serves as co-lead for the employee resource group caRe, which focuses on mental health and chronic health support in the workplace.
The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.
If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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